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Current Affairs in Short: 21 February 2019

As part of the global celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Seoul Campus of Yonsei University. During his two-day visit to South Korea, Modi will hold bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and will receive the Seoul Peace Prize.

Feb 21, 2019 16:30 IST
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PM Modi’s visit to Korea: India Korea startup hub launched in Seoul

• Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the India-Korea Startup Hub in Seoul during his visit to South Korea on February 21, 2019 while addressing the India-Korea Business Symposium.
• As part of the global celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi at the Seoul Campus of Yonsei University.
• During his two-day visit to South Korea, Modi will hold bilateral talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and will receive the Seoul Peace Prize in recognition of his dedication to international cooperation, global growth and human development.
• Besides summit meeting with President Moon Jae-in, Prime Minister Modi will also have a number of engagements with the Korean leadership, businesses and Indian Community.
• He will also interact with the Indian community in South Korea.

MHA approves entitlement of air travel to all personnel of CAPFs

• In a significant decision, the Ministry of Home Affairs approved the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces (CAPFs).
• The decision will immediately benefit approximately 7,80,000 personnel of the CAPFs in the ranks of Constable, Head Constable and ASI who were otherwise not eligible earlier.
• This includes journey on duty and journey on leave, i.e; while going on leave from Jammu and Kashmir to home and return.
• This facility is in addition to the existing air courier services for CAPFs that have been steadily extended in all sectors by the MHA to help the jawans cut down on travel time during their journey.
• The move comes in the aftermath of Pulwama terror attack that killed over 44 Indian paramilitary police officers.

National Informatics Centre to confer Digital India Awards

• The National Informatics Centre (NIC) will organize the fifth edition of Digital India Awards on February 22, 2019.
• The Digital India Awards have emerged over the years as a credible platform to recognize the digital presence and e-Governance efforts of various Government institutions across the country.
• The awards, instituted in 2009, have played a pivotal role in promoting the use of World Wide Web platform as an effective tool for e-Governance.
• Since its inception the Digital India Awards have seen four editions, beginning from 2010, and biennially being conferred in 2012, 2014, & 2016.
• In this fifth edition, various Government entities have been evaluated in various categories by a high level jury consisting of senior government officials, academia and industry experts.

International Mother Language Day 2019 observed

• International Mother Language Day was observed on February 21, 2019 to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism.
• As 2019 is the International Year of Indigenous Languages, the theme of this year’s Mother Language Day was ‘Indigenous Languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation’.
• According to UN data, a language disappears every two weeks taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage.
• At least 43 percent of the estimated 6000 languages spoken in the world are endangered.
• Only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given a place in education systems and the public domain.
• UNESCO has been celebrating International Mother Language Day for nearly 20 years with the aim of preserving this linguistic diversity and promoting mother tongue-based multilingual education.

US President Donald Trump signs order to establish US Space Force

• US President Donald Trump signed an executive order to establish its Space Force as a new armed service within the Department of Air Force.
• The Space Force will include both combat and combat support functions to enable prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations in all domains.
• It will be organized, trained, and equipped to meet and protect the US national interests in the space, consistent with international laws.
• It will organize and train the next generation of warriors to deter aggression and defend the United States.

Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships awarded to 150 Sri Lankan students

• Sri Lanka's 150 students from all 25 districts were awarded the prestigious Mahatma Gandhi scholarships for study in India.
• Sri Lankan Education Minister Akila Viraj Kariyawasam and Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu gave the scholarships at a special ceremony in Colombo.
• This is the twelfth year in which India has provided Mahatma Gandhi scholarships to bright students across Sri Lanka.
• India recently opened up new trilingual school in Polonnaruwa and Saraswathy College in Kandy.
• India also launched a new Portal titled “Study in India” and more than 25000 seats are earmarked in Indian Institutions for foreign students.

Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated ISSF Shooting World Cup

• Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore inaugurated the International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup in New Delhi.
• Various events in the world cup will start from February 23 and will end on the February 27, 2019.
• The ISSF World Cup is crucial for Indian shooting as it has 16 quotas up for grabs for Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualification.
• India is fielding a 23-member squad with 11 shooters in the non-competition Minimum Qualification Score category.

4TH India-Asean Expo Summit on 21 – 23 February 2019 in New Delhi

• The 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit will be held on February 21-23, 2019 in New Delhi.
• This is a flagship event of Department of Commerce, being organised with FICCI to carry forward the momentum and to further strengthen India-ASEAN relations under the Act-East Policy.
• The 4th India-ASEAN Expo and Summit will build upon the success of the previous edition of ASEAN-India Business and Investment Meet and Expo which was held in 2018 as a precursor to India-ASEAN Commemorative Summit.
• The Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) comprises of Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Lao PDR, Indonesia, Cambodia and Brunei. India's relationship with ASEAN is a key pillar of our foreign policy and the foundation of our Act-East Policy.
• Trade Ministers of ASEAN Countries, Secretary General of ASEAN and business delegations will participate in the New Delhi Expo and Summit.

Ravi Shankar Prasad inaugurated VIVID 2019

• The ‘VIVID-Vision Insight and Voices as India goes Digital’- the District Informatics Officer (DIO) meet was inaugurated by National Informatics Centre (NIC) on February 21, 2019.
• VIVID started in 2017, as an annual event, with the objective to empower NIC officials in the field of technology.
• VIVID 2019 will be a landmark event for NIC, it would provide a cohesive and extensive platform for interaction and knowledge sharing.
• The meet will be attended by other Senior Government officials from NIC and Central and State Governments.
• The National meet will cover a wide range of relevant topics in various technical sessions including Emerging Technologies (Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning & Big Data Analytics), Cyber Threats & Counter Measures, Enterprise Level Applications, and other relevant topics.

Union Minister of State Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti inaugurates 1st Mega Food Park of Tripura

• Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti inaugurated Sikaria Mega Food Park Pvt Ltd at Village Tulakona in Agartala.
• This is the first Mega Food Park in the state of Tripura.
• The Mega Food Park has been set up in 50 acre of land at the cost of Rs. 87.45 crore.
• The food park is having facilities of fully operational Dry warehouse and material handling of 5000 MT, Pineapple canning and Pulping line of 2 MT/Hr each, Packing Unit, Ripening Chambers of 40 TPD, Cold Storage of 5000 MT with Frozen Storage of 1000 MT, Quality Control, etc.
• It also has fully developed Industrial plots for setting up processing units and Standard Design Factory (SDF) Sheds to provide ready to move in facility for micro and small enterprises.
• The Park will also provide direct and indirect employment to 5000 people and benefit about 25000 farmers in the CPC and PPC catchment areas.

Environment Ministry, University of British Columbia sign MoU on forestry science

• The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) and University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for next 10 years in New Delhi.
• Both the institutions shall explore opportunities for future collaborations in the field of forestry science through their respective organizations namely Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Wildlife Institute of India, Forest Survey of India, Indira Gandhi National Forest Academy and Directorate of Forest Education and University of British Columbia, Canada.
• The MoU will help in exchange of students, researchers and faculty, developing research projects, livelihood opportunities and augment income of the forest based communities.
• It will assist the industries to optimise the utilisation of forest based resources with access of technology to different stakeholders by the respective organizations.

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